Thursday, November 26, 2009

Pre-Departure Session

Well, this weekend was our Antarctica pre-departure session. The PCAS (post-graduate certificate in Antarctic Studies) course I'm tutoring in spent 3 days out at the UC (University of Canterbury) geography field station in Cass (a stop along the TranzAlpine railway). We were introduced to some of the gear we'd be using, but mostly it was about getting to know one another better - bonding. With winds up in the 80-100 km/hr range we spent lots of time inside discovering the intricacies of living together and talking about all the fun things we'll be doing down in Antarctica.

Cass Field Station. In the background is the Craigieburn Range with Arthur's Pass just off to the left.

Steve showing off his weather station. While we're down on the ice, this station will be set up by the students and recordings will be taken every day. Unfortunately, due to the high velocity winds we weren't able to fly the ginormous kite he has to take up some of his other instruments.

Here's one of the tents we'll be using down on the ice. There are four poles that are put into the tough outer fly, the inner tent is then hung from inside and the white flaps are covered with snow and the guylines are anchored into the surrounding snow to keep it all on the ground.

This is the emergency tent provided for each group of two people. Whenever we go out of camp we have to carry these emergency bags with us which contain things like a shovel, a saw, food, a stove, a tent, sleeping bags and other useful things to keep you warm.

On the last day, we did a hike up Bealey Spur (overlooking the Waimakariri River). It was a 10km round trip through beech forest, grass tussocks and boasted some fantastic views.

One of the aforementioned fantastic views of the Waimakariri River.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Erin,

    Mum and I enjoyed the slide show, especially after we figured out it would take us on everybody's personal trip to NZ. Mum's got a new long list of places we must see.